Car Accident Attorneys in Ohio
Ohio Car Accident Lawyer
A car accident can completely change your life in an instant. You may be left with long-lasting injuries or permanent disabilities. You may be unable to work and facing financial troubles as your medical bills pile up.
When your car accident was caused by the negligence or recklessness of another driver, the law entitles you to seek compensation from that driver. The compensation can pay for the damages you’ve suffered because of your accident. Those damages include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
As you recover from your injuries, you need an experienced car accident attorney in Ohio at your side. An attorney can help you maximize your financial recovery.
At Amourgis & Associates, Attorneys at Law, our car accident lawyers fight to protect the rights and interests of our clients. We can ensure that they receive compensation for their present and future financial losses as well as for the physical and emotional harm they have suffered.
After you have been injured in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, contact Amourgis & Associates, Attorneys at Law, today. We will set up a free initial case review with one of our Ohio car accident lawyers. You can discuss your rights and options following your accident. You will see how our skilled attorneys can help you seek the maximum financial recovery that you need and deserve.
How Our Ohio Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You
You may be thinking about pursuing your car accident claim on your own. However, an Ohio car accident attorney from Amourgis & Associates, Attorneys at Law can remove the stress of pursuing compensation from those at fault for your accident. That will allow you to focus on your physical and emotional recovery.
With our skilled car accident lawyers on your side, you stand a much better chance at securing greater compensation from the insurance companies. Our lawyers can help you with your case by:
- Investigating your accident to recover evidence we can later use in your claim.
- Collaborating with accident reconstruction experts. Those experts will show the other driver was at fault for the accident.
- Developing an effective legal claim to show the extent of your financial and emotional damages.
- Pursuing a negotiated settlement with the insurance companies. Our goal is to provide you with full and fair compensation for your injuries and damages.
- Preparing your case to go to court or to trial if that becomes necessary.
Compensation in a Car Accident Claim
When you’ve been involved in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for the injuries and damages that you suffered. Compensation can include:
- Costs of medical treatment
- Long-term personal care expenses if you are disabled and unable to take care of daily tasks
- Lost wages and lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life due to disabilities, physical disfigurements or the inability to participate in activities you previously enjoyed
- Loss of consortium, which can compensate your spouse for the loss of your emotional and physical companionship because of your injuries
You may also be entitled to compensation for the costs to repair damage to your vehicle, or the cash value of your vehicle if it is “totaled.” You may also be entitled to punitive damages for your car accident if the other driver is found to have acted in an “egregious” manner. For example, punitive damages might be allowed if the other driver was operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and had a prior history of DUIs.
Time Limit for Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit in Ohio
Ohio has a time limit for filing personal injury lawsuits. This time limit is known as the statute of limitations. Under Ohio’s statute of limitations, you generally have two years from the date of your car accident to file a lawsuit for your injuries and other damages.
In a few circumstances, a court may choose to pause, or “toll,” the statute of limitations. For example, the limitations period may be tolled if the at-fault driver flees from the scene and cannot immediately be identified.
If the statute of limitations in your case expires before you file suit, the court can permanently dismiss your lawsuit. That means you will lose your right to seek financial recovery in court.
What to Do If You’ve Been Hurt in a Car Accident
If you or a loved one have been hurt in a car accident, take these steps to help strengthen your position in a later claim for compensation:
- Call 911 or the police. If you or someone else in the accident has been injured, call 911 to summon emergency medical services. Otherwise, contact the local police department (or state police if on a highway). The officer that arrives at the accident scene will prepare a police accident report. Be sure to obtain a copy of this report from the police department.
- Get the contact and insurance information from the other driver(s). If you collect this information, you will know who to contact if you later file a claim for compensation.
- Get contact information or statements from eyewitnesses. If bystanders witnessed the accident, try to either get a short statement from them or their contact information if you later need the eyewitnesses’ statements.
- Document the accident scene. If safe to do so, take photos or video with your cell phone of the accident scene. Show damage to the vehicles, damage debris in the road, skid marks and the traffic controls at the scene. Also record the weather, traffic, road and lighting conditions at the time of the accident.
- Seek medical attention. Even if you believe you were not injured in your accident, follow up with your physician or another medical provider. During an examination, a medical provider can diagnose any injuries you may have even before you experience pain or other symptoms. A prompt diagnosis of your injuries can strengthen your car accident claim.
- Do not assign fault for the accident. Avoid making statements that blame someone for the accident. Nor should you apologize for your role in the accident. Insurance companies and defense lawyers may use your statements as evidence that you share fault for the accident.
- Avoid social media posts of photos or videos of yourself after the accident. Insurance adjusters and defense attorneys may use your social media posts as evidence to contradict your claims of injuries or an inability to work.
- Speak with an experienced car accident attorney. A knowledgeable car accident lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and options following your accident. An attorney can also guide you through the claims process.
What You Need to Know About Dealing with Insurance Companies
After you’ve been involved in a car accident, you may be contacted by an adjuster from the insurance company. Exercise caution when dealing with the insurance companies. Keep in mind that the insurance companies may not have your best interests as their goal. Instead, like all other businesses, the insurance company is trying to protect its bottom line by paying out as little as possible on claims.
Insurance company adjusters will want to pay as little as possible for your injuries and damages. An adjuster may ask you to sign a settlement and release before you fully understand the extent of your injuries. Using statements you made to the insurance company, the adjusters may argue that you bear some or all of the fault for the accident and are not entitled to full compensation for your damages.
Having an aggressive, experienced car accident attorney in your corner often serves as the best way to deal with the insurance companies. An attorney can communicate with insurance adjusters on your behalf. An attorney can make sure your rights and interests are always protected when dealing with the company. An attorney will fight back against the tactics of insurance companies. An attorney will help you get maximum compensation for your injuries and damages.
Frequently Asked Questions
Remember that an attorney can answer specific questions about your car accident. Following are the answers to questions we commonly hear from our clients.
If you have been injured or if your car is damaged, then the answer is yes. You need to know your rights as soon as possible. It is always free to call us and find out. Keep in mind that insurance companies are not your friends. They want you to take as little money as possible, as fast as possible. Insurance adjusters call that tactic “go away” money.
Remember, car accident victims are at a disadvantage against insurance companies that routinely handle car accident claims. Injury victims that deal directly with the insurance companies can damage their case in such a way that a car accident attorney can’t help them.
As a general rule, if someone else caused your car accident, that party can be held responsible for repairs to your vehicle. However, if you have an older vehicle that was damaged in your car accident, the insurance company may simply choose to declare your vehicle “totaled.” That means that the cost to repair your vehicle is greater than its entire value. The insurance company will simply pay the cash value of your vehicle. You can then choose whether to spend the money fixing your vehicle or purchasing another one. You can help show the cash value of your vehicle by providing real-world transactions for the same make and model of your vehicle.
When you’re in an accident you’re entitled to recover for the time you’ve missed from work. However, it’s very important you let us know that at the beginning of the case so we can put the necessary people on notice. A lot of times people own their own business and they don’t do such a good job of keeping records. That’s why it’s important for us to know that at the beginning of the case, so we can create the paper trail in order to get you the necessary compensation for your lost wages.
This is where we can really help you. There are a lot of tools available to you to pay your medical bills, your health insurance, your automobile insurance, medical payment benefits, letters of protection. No one case has one solution. There’s a lot of different solutions for a lot of different injury cases and we can help you out in getting those medical bills addressed by using the best tools that you have to do it.
When you sign a release, that’s it. Adios. So long… Farewell! You’ve given up your rights to pursue the other party for anything they did wrong in the event of an accident. Beware, sometimes insurance companies will send you a check that acts as a release. Don’t sign it, don’t cash it, call us and we’ll talk you through it.
Well, what if I’m partially responsible for the accident? Does that eliminate my opportunity to recover? The answer is no. As long as you’re not more than 51% responsible for the accident in the state of Ohio, you’re not subject to what they call comparative negligence. If you’re more than 51% negligent, then you get no recovery.
I get asked; “If I had a pre-existing condition to my back and I’m in an accident and I hurt my back. Does that eliminate any chance of recovery?” The answer is no. The best way to explain it as this is if you were a 5 out of 10 in pain before the accident, and after the accident, you’re an 8 out of 10. The other party is responsible for the 5-8, so you are entitled to recover. It’s our job to figure out what your injuries were at before and to find out what level you are now after the accident.
There are two main types of damages in automobile accidents. There’s property damage, that’s the damage that’s done to the vehicle. And then there’s bodily injury damage. That’s the damage that’s done to you. What that means is you’re entitled to recover for your injuries, as well as your pain and suffering. Those are called economic and non-economic damages, which we can get into deeper, but that’s how they break down. You’re entitled to your medical bills, as well as your pain and suffering.
You also may be entitled to things like lost wages for when you couldn’t go to work, or if you had to hire someone at your house to do jobs that you normally had to do like mow the lawn or get the leaves out of the gutters. There’s a lot of things that you’re entitled to recover for that the insurance company is never going to tell you about.
When an adjuster calls, the most important thing to do is listen, get their name, get their telephone number, get the claim number and the policy number. Remember, the insurance adjuster works for the insurance company. They’re in business for the insurance company. They’re not in business to help you get the information you need from them, then relay that when you speak to your personal injury attorney.
Generally in Ohio, you have two years to file a lawsuit after an automobile accident. Now, there are plenty of exceptions to that rule. If you have a minor involved or if there’s an intentional action, there’s a variety of things. So not every case is to yours. So please contact us and we’ll talk through it and let you know what it is.
A lot of times people will call us soon after the accident, and they’ll tell us they’re not feeling any pain. Well, it’ll take 24 to 48 hours sometimes after an accident to really feel those injuries. So, if you’re injured in the accident, please give us a call. Another time people worried that they’re not injured in the accident if they had a pre-existing condition. You have to remember that, you can get a recovery for aggravation of that pre-existing condition. That’s different than what you had before the accident.
That’s the biggest question we have. And that’s what we’re here for to answer that question. In order to have a case you need three things, you need an accident, you need an injury, and you need insurance coverage. When you contact us, we’ll go through all of those things to make sure all those boxes are checked and to take care of you.
Everybody wants to know; “what do I do after an accident”? The first thing you need to do if you’re injured is; go to the emergency room and get treatment. After that, we can worry about other things like who’s responsible for the accident, and what the police report says. Once we get those, we’ll be able to evaluate the claim and contact the necessary parties in order to help you out and get your case started.
The value of your claim is based on two things, the nature of your injuries and the extent of your treatment. If you’re injured and you don’t get the appropriate treatment for your injuries, you’re not going to get the appropriate outcome for your injuries either.
Types of Auto Accidents
The most common types of motor vehicle accidents include:
- Rollover accident, which occurs when a vehicle tips over on its side or roof or rolls over multiple times before coming to a rest. A rollover accident may occur on vehicles with a high center of gravity such as an SUV. A rollover can be triggered by factors such as the vehicle’s speed, road conditions or overcorrections by the driver when a vehicle loses traction or swerves.
- Single-car accidents, which include crashes where a vehicle runs off the road, collides
with a roadside object or hits an animal as it crosses the road.
- Rear-end collisions, which involve a vehicle crashing into the back of another vehicle. The rear vehicle is usually presumed to bear fault for rear-end collisions since drivers are expected to leave sufficient room for a safe stop.
- Side-impact collisions, also known at T-bone collisions, occur when one vehicle hits the side of another vehicle. Due to the lack of side safety protection in many vehicles, side-impact collisions tend to have more serious injuries than other kinds of accidents. Side- impact crashes typically occur when one driver fails to yield the right-of-way.
- Head-on collisions, which occur when the front of two vehicles collide. Fatalities often result when head-on collisions occur at speed. Head-on collisions often happen as a driver drives the wrong direction on a one-way street, or when a vehicle crosses into the oncoming lane of traffic.
Talk to an Ohio Car Accident Attorney Now
If you or a loved one have been in a car accident through no fault of your own, contact a knowledgeable Ohio car accident attorney at Amourgis & Associates, Attorneys at Law, today. We have six convenient office locations to serve you – Akron, Cincinnati, Independence (Cleveland), Columbus, Beavercreek, and Canfield.
Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today with one of our attorneys to discuss the details of your case. You will learn how our firm’s experience and resources can help you secure maximum compensation for your injuries and damages.